Easter is another ones of those dual holidays that has a deep religious meaning as well a strong focus on children activities. For Christmas we have presents, On Easter we have Eggs with Candy and other fun items. Easter is a great time to take family photos. But what if you want more than the standard obligatory Easter family photo, what if you want to document your Easter with a bit more focus on quality photography or artistic value? Below I have listed my top tips for spicing up your Easter photos.
Note: This article was originally written in 2013 and updated in 2022 with new tips and images.
Look for Candid Moments and Capture Them
While your kids are coloring eggs take a few moments for some easter photography of them having a blast coloring the eggs. Another good time to snap some candid shots is of other adults watching the children while they hunt for the eggs on Easter morning. These are just to thoughts for some good candid moments to capture that will be more than a snapshot.
Consider Easter Photography Mini Sessions
Spring time is a great time for professional photographers to hold mini sessions. With flowers in bloom and the weather warming up, many families are looking to get outside and capture some photos of their family. From a timing perspective, this time frame also spaces out your mini sessions far apart from your (most popular) holiday mini sessions later in the year. For more information, check out our article on Mini Sessions.
Use Fun Props for your Easter Photography
From cute and fuzzy animal props that will neither be traumatized by nor injure a child, to bunny ear headbands and Easter eggs, there are so many fun things you can use to symbolize Easter. You can build entire sets using decorations and Easter colors and take an opportunity to flex your creativity, play with color harmony and symbolism while you create photos your clients will love.
Simple Background are Better
It is easy to get distracted while looking at photos with busy backgrounds, but you want your viewers to be locked on the subject of your photos. If you are shooting your kids looking for eggs try and angle your shots so that the background behind them is as simple as possible. For example shoot standing up and point the camera down for a solid green background from the grass, or shoot from below and get the sky up above them as they reach for an egg.
Shoot the Details!
Its easy to focus on your kids or significant others when taking pictures on a holiday. But something you can do to really spice up your holiday photography is to take shots of the details, if you are a wedding photographer you know what I am talking about. In the case of Easter the eggs that your kids colored, or – if you are cheap like me- the plastic eggs you bought from the store. Shoot the eggs in the grass, look for patterns or make some to create even more artistic shots.
Avoid Animals in your Easter Photography
There are all kinds of things you can do to provide a great experience for your clients, but here’s one to skip: using live animals as props. Sure, there is potential to get some cute images from the shoot, but there is also great potential for things to go sideways – for the animals, the kids, and for you, the photographer.
Putting animals in the hands of small children is inviting disaster for both the animals and children. Animals can carry illness-causing germs, like those which cause salmonella poisoning, and can bite or scratch kids. Very young children, for their part, simply don’t yet understand the concepts of hurting or killing an animal, even through trying to show affection. Their ignorance, in turn, can result in the bites and scratches mentioned above to the kids, or worse for the animals.
Providing an extreme example of what not to do, and repercussions, in just about every sense is photographer Mercer Harris. Harris has found himself in the virtual crosshairs of animal lovers around the world as his animal-incorporating sessions have gone viral. He has received upset messages, phone calls, comments, and Google reviews in droves and they continue to pour in from people in many different countries. Many people were so horrified by what they saw that they reported him to authorities in his state.
So what did he do to bring on the wrath of the masses? For years, Harris would host pre-Easter photo events with live ducklings and rabbits for the local children of his small town. Harris chose to let very young children handle animals, and when things went awry (as anyone could foresee they would) he snapped photos. In yet another curious judgment call, he shared many images that show children mishandling animals on both his personal and business Facebook pages.
The images have been damning, and contain babies and children holding ducklings by their heads and throats, and flinging them into a pond, sometimes with great force, and rabbits being carried by their ears or throat, dropped, and even bitten. They have now largely been removed from the corners of the web which are controlled by Harris, but not before they were seen by thousands of people and screen captured as they spread across social media.
Use Animal Overlays or Fun Animal Themes
In this digital age, it’s easy to add animals to your photos after the shoot that can look real if you’ve got some composite skills, or at least acceptable if that’s not your forte. This solution is an opportunity to have a fun and imaginative session as you direct your subjects to pretend they’re interacting with the animals you will later add in Photoshop.